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- R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison
Disgraced singer R Kelly is set to remain in jail for decades after being sentenced for sex trafficking. The court heard victim impact statements from seven women, presented anonymously as “Jane Does”, who told how he used “fame and power” to entice his victims. R Kelly has been sentenced to...
Disgraced singer R Kelly is set to remain in jail for decades after being sentenced for sex trafficking. The court heard victim impact statements from seven women, presented anonymously as “Jane Does”, who told how he used “fame and power” to entice his victims.
R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans – after coming face to face with some of his victims as they confronted him in court.
The disgraced singer was forced to listen as the survivors condemned his “despicable” actions and described him as “the pied piper of R&B” ahead of the judge announcing his lengthy jail term.
Kelly promised to mentor them and help them in the music industry, but went on to subject them to degrading and systemic abuse.
He was found guilty of racketeering and trafficking following a high-profile trial in New York in September 2021, which came after years of accusations throughout his career.
At his sentencing by US District Judge Ann Donnelly on Wednesday, the court heard impact statements from seven women, presented anonymously as “Jane Does”, who said the singer had a “God-like complex” and used “fame and power” to entice his victims.
Warning: This article contains some graphic content and details of sexual abuse
Dressed in a black face mask and grey prison-issue uniform, having been in custody since 2019, the 55-year-old looked straight ahead as the emotional statements were read out. He did not address the court himself.
“The pied piper of R&B, both in music and in technique and in approach,” a woman using the pseudonym Angela said as she addressed him in the courtroom. “Success and love… you presented these glittering gems as if they were gold.
“With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex.
“You were doing, saying and encouraging despicable things that no one should be doing. We reclaim our names from beneath the shadows of your afflicted trauma.”
Another woman told Kelly: “You are an abuser, you are shameless, you are disgusting.”
What happened during the trial?
Several accusers and witnesses – men as well as women – had testified against the singer during his trial, with the court hearing how he subjected his victims to perverse and sadistic abuse when they were underage.
Once one of the biggest music stars in the world, a three-time Grammy winner whose chart-topping hits include I Believe I Can Fly, Bump ‘N’ Grind and Ignition, the full horror of some of his crimes was finally laid bare.
Real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, he had denied all the charges, his lawyers calling his accusers “disgruntled groupies” and saying they were lying, arguing that any “relationships” were consenting.
However, the jury believed the survivors. Kelly was found guilty of all nine charges brought against him – one charge of racketeering and eight counts of violating a law which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.
Among multiple sordid allegations, jurors heard testimony about a fraudulent marriage scheme hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he had impregnated R&B artist Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15.
Prosecutors had said before the sentencing hearing that he should spend more than 25 years in prison, saying he demonstrated a “callous disregard” for his victims and showed no remorse.
But lawyers for Kelly argued that he deserved no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, saying his history as an abused child may have led to his adult “hypersexuality” – and saying he no longer poses a risk to the public.
They have said he plans to appeal the verdict.
One of the victims, who Kelly sexually assaulted when she was 17 – which led to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder – told the singer that being abused himself was no excuse for his crimes.
“Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives,” she said.
Another told the court: “As a teenager, I didn’t know how to say no to R Kelly when he asked me to perform oral sex on him.
She then paused and addressed Kelly: “Do you remember that?”
Kelly is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misconduct following the rise of the #MeToo movement.
He is also facing a second trial in Chicago in August that could see additional convictions and prison time. In that case, he is accused of possessing child pornography and obstruction of justice.
US lawyer Breon Peace described the sentencing as “a momentous outcome for all victims of R Kelly, and especially for the survivors who so bravely testified about the horrific and sadistic abuse they endured”.
“R Kelly is a predator and as a result of our prosecution, he will serve a significant jail sentence for his crimes,” he said in a statement.
He added that he hopes the sentencing “serves as its own testimony that it does not matter how powerful, rich or famous your abuser may be, or how small they make you feel – justice only hears the truth”.
Lizzette Martinez, one of the accusers who spoke in court, told reporters after the hearing: “I never thought that I would be here to see him be held accountable for the atrocious things that he did to children.”29 June 2022Breaking Newshttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186331
- Airbnb permanently bans parties and events around the world
Airbnb has permanently banned parties and events at homes on its platform, after a temporary measure during the pandemic proved popular with hosts. The firm says the rule has become “much more than a public health measure” since it was introduced in August 2020. “It developed into a bedrock community...
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Airbnb has permanently banned parties and events at homes on its platform, after a temporary measure during the pandemic proved popular with hosts.
The firm says the rule has become “much more than a public health measure” since it was introduced in August 2020.
“It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our hosts and their neighbours,” the San Francisco-headquartered firm said.
However, it also removed a limit on how many people can stay at homes.
Airbnb said in a statement that the number of complaints about parties dropped by 44% since the measure was first introduced.
Exceptions to the global ban may be made for “specialty and traditional hospitality venues” in the future, it added.
Airbnb also said it would remove a limit on the number of people its listings are allowed to accommodate at any one time.
It previously imposed a 16 person limit to occupants because of concerns over the spread of Covid-19.
The firm said “several types of larger homes are capable of comfortably and safely housing more than 16 people – from castles in Europe to vineyards in the US to large beachfront villas in the Caribbean”.
“Removing this cap is meant to allow those hosts to responsibly utilise the space in their homes while still complying with our ban on disruptive parties,” it said.
The company started putting restrictions on parties in 2019. It banned “open-invite” parties and so-called “chronic party houses” that were a nuisance to neighbours.
During the pandemic, Airbnb introduced an indefinite ban on parties “in the best interest of public health”.
More than 6,600 guests had also been suspended from using the platform last year for breaking the rules.
“This new and long-term policy was enacted to help encourage and support community safety,” Airbnb said.
“We look forward to sharing updates in the coming weeks and months on our efforts to complement our community policies on parties,” it added.
The post Airbnb permanently bans parties and events around the world appeared first on Pattaya One News.29 June 2022Internationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186325
- Protests greet PM ,over 2,000 police provide protection
More than 2,000 police were deployed to provide protection for Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha when he visited Chiang Mai province today (Wednesday), but the sheer force of both uniform and plainclothes officers failed to stop the protests. A small group of protesters gathered in front of Chiang Mai airport...
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More than 2,000 police were deployed to provide protection for Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha when he visited Chiang Mai province today (Wednesday), but the sheer force of both uniform and plainclothes officers failed to stop the protests.
A small group of protesters gathered in front of Chiang Mai airport to protest Prayut’s visit to the province.
More protesters were reported to have gathered in front of the convention centre and international trade exhibition fair in Muang district, which the prime minister was scheduled to visit.
Holding posters which read “8 years, no future, get out”, “no future, but public debt” and “Loong Too (PM’s nickname), borrow, borrow, borrow” were waived by a small group of protesters, who were barred from entering the fair ground.
The police came from most districts of Chiang Mai, with some from Lampang and Lamphun provinces as well.
Upon his arrival in Chiang Mai this morning, the prime minister and a small group of ministers proceeded directly to Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam, to inspect the Mae Taman sluice gate project in Mae Taeng district.
The Mae Taman sluice gate is the starting point of the 46km long water diversion tunnel, to carry water from the Mae Taeng River to the Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam and on to the Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam, which will increase the amount of water in the reservoirs by about 160 million cubic metres a year.
At the gate, the prime minister and his delegation were given a warm welcome by local people.
One huge banner read “Government and farmers are one family. Thanks Loong Too, National Rice and Farmers Day”.
The prime minister later paid a call on the abbot of Wat Pa Dara Phirom, before proceeding to the convention centre in Muang district.
Prayut and his cabinet swore into office in July 2019, following the parliamentary vote electing him as the prime minister. This is his second administration, having assumed the post in August 2014, months after he led a coup to overthrow a Pheu Thai government.
The next general election is scheduled for 2023, if this administration completes its four-year term. The ruling Palang Pracharath Party, which nominated Prayut as its prime ministerial candidate, vowed to continue to support him in the next race.
The post Protests greet PM ,over 2,000 police provide protection appeared first on Pattaya One News.29 June 2022Nationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186322
- Selfish tourist pretended he needed wheelchair
A selfish tourist boasted about skipping two hours of airport queues by pretending to be injured. Wolf Jenkins, 28, was warned ‘what goes around, comes around’ by a wheelchair user after he posted a video about his antics at Milas-Bodrum airport in Turkey. He can be seen limping around without...
A selfish tourist boasted about skipping two hours of airport queues by pretending to be injured.
Wolf Jenkins, 28, was warned ‘what goes around, comes around’ by a wheelchair user after he posted a video about his antics at Milas-Bodrum airport in Turkey.
He can be seen limping around without his sock and shoe while airport staff dote on his supposedly ‘sprained’ ankle.
‘Faked hurting my leg to get through security faster and onto the plane back from Ibiza,’ he wrote. ‘Amazing what taking one sock off can achieve.’
Wolf is filmed sitting comfortably in the wheelchair as his mate pushes him through check-in, security gates, the connecting tunnel and then onto the plane.
The holidaymaker said he came up with the plan when he saw a line of passengers coming ‘out of the door’.Holidaymaker skips two-hour airport queue by pretending he needs a wheelchair
‘I’d say around a two hour wait to get through security and check in at least,’ Wolf added. ‘The queue outside of the airport was insane, I didn’t expect it at all.
‘I saw people in wheelchairs being pushed through so my friend waited in the queue and I went outside and took off my shoe and sock.
‘I then limped back towards the door and a member of staff asked me if I needed assistance so I said I had twisted my ankle at the hotel just before getting into my taxi.
‘I was then ushered through security and to check in immediately and they asked me if I had a fit to fly form but I said I have only just done it and that I could walk if necessary. But they said not to worry about it and let me through.’
Needless to say, many who watched Wolf’s prank on social media were appalled, adding he should be ashamed by himself.
One woman said: ‘Be careful because what goes around comes back around. Coming from a wheelchair user.’
‘He’ll be crying wolf when karma pays him a visit,’ another wrote.
A Facebook user also pointed out his lies could backfire and impact the lives of actually disabled people.
They wrote: ‘Great because of p****s like this people with real disabilities have to wait longer and suffer. No doubt the airports will start charging for the service soon.’
Wolf and his friend were supposed to be in separate parts of the plane but flight attendants even gave them a whole row of six seats to sit together.
He can be seen all smiles as he arrived in the UK safely – still being transported in a wheelchair.
The one-minute footage ends with the passenger putting on his sock and shoe, without any signs of pain.
Looking very pleased with himself, Wolf gets up from the wheelchair and walks away.29 June 2022Internationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186318
- Thailand betting on dramatic ‘boys’ love’ tourism boom
Thailand has begun a campaign to attract international tourists, and especially Japanese travellers, using the popularity of homegrown productions of “boys’ love,” or BL dramas, as a drawcard. At the Mini Thai Festival held in Osaka in early June, two booths were set up by video distributors in the “Thai BL”...
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Thailand has begun a campaign to attract international tourists, and especially Japanese travellers, using the popularity of homegrown productions of “boys’ love,” or BL dramas, as a drawcard.
At the Mini Thai Festival held in Osaka in early June, two booths were set up by video distributors in the “Thai BL” corner, dragging throngs of people away from street food stalls and an exhibition of the combat sport Muay Thai. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) handed out pamphlets on Thai BL.
Known in Thailand as “Y series” — a reference to the Japanese “yaoi” fiction that features homoerotic relationships between male characters and provided the inspiration for BL dramas — the productions were once looked upon with prejudice but have gained acceptance due to their potential to function as a cultural export.
“My heart flutters when I see these scenes of handsome actors falling in love with each other,” Keiko Kobayashi, a 58-year-old who works in Osaka and met with friends to drink Thai beer at the festival, said.
She became a fan of the genre about a year ago. Because of Thai BL dramas, “I started learning about Thailand, which I previously had no interest in,” she said.
The Thai BL boom took off in Japan about two years ago through word of mouth, with major works creating social media buzz.
Maya Murai, 30, who works for the TAT’s Osaka branch, recognised the tourism potential and opened the office’s Thai BL Twitter account, which now has more than 20,000 followers.
She saw the chance to promote tours to Thailand after discovering that 80% of Japanese fans of Thai BL had never been to the Southeast Asian nation.
Thailand lifted post-entry quarantine requirements and most other Covid-19 restrictions on travellers to the country from June onward.
When the TAT’s Osaka office solicited eight participants for a trial tour, partially paid for by the office, to BL drama location sites in Thailand for early June, the slots were immediately snapped up — a limited but heartening indication of Japanese tourists’ interest in a holiday structured around Thai BL.
Chanyuth Sawetsuwan, 51, the office head, said the boom seen in Japan has also spread to other Asian countries and South America, prompting the Thai government to start positioning BL dramas as strategic content aimed at promoting tourism.
Murai, who is also a fan of Thai BL, said, “I occasionally feel jealous of actresses when I watch love stories between men and women. But many women are attracted by BL dramas because they can simply support handsome men.”
Indeed, the frank emotional subject matter and smiles seen in Thai BL dramas appear to have won the hearts of many Japanese fans.
“In the 1980s, BL works were in Japan rather than Thailand,” said Rujirat Ishikawa, a 38-year-old Thai assistant professor at Aoyama Gakuin University specialising in Japanese manga culture. Fan clubs for Japanese BL works were formed in Thailand in the 1990s.
But explicit sexual descriptions contained in self-published works became an issue leading to Thai government intervention, and BL became taboo in the early 2000s.
A scene of two men kissing in a 2007 Thai movie resulted in a torrent of criticism, Ishikawa said. Around the same time, however, some people began to be more accepting of homosexuality in Thai society.
“Thai society changed, opening the way for a string of homegrown Thai BL drama productions,” she said.
BL dramas feature scenes in which boys come out to family members or demonstrate similar acts of courage, giving viewers a sense of their internal struggles, Ishikawa said.
Thai BL dramas often conclude with a happy ending, according to Ishikawa, creating “positive feelings to eliminate biased views against sexual minorities.”
The post Thailand betting on dramatic ‘boys’ love’ tourism boom appeared first on Pattaya One News.29 June 2022Nationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186315
- Fuel prices heading for 60 baht
Thailand’s former energy minister warned on Monday that diesel prices could rocket to 60 baht per litre later this year, blaming the government’s incompetence in addressing people’s hardships. Sontirat Sontijirawong, who chaired the Ministry of Energy in 2019 and 2020, said that the matter of fuel costs should be regarded...
Thailand’s former energy minister warned on Monday that diesel prices could rocket to 60 baht per litre later this year, blaming the government’s incompetence in addressing people’s hardships.
Sontirat Sontijirawong, who chaired the Ministry of Energy in 2019 and 2020, said that the matter of fuel costs should be regarded as a “national agenda” since it will put a strain on the people’s livelihood.
The ex-energy minister, now a secretary for a newly formed political party Sang Anakot Thai, predicts that retail diesel prices will likely reach 60 baht per litre if global oil prices rise to US$180 per barrel.
“Every rise of one dollar per barrel in the oil prices, the retail prices will rise by 0.25 baht,” Sontirat said, citing data from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
On top of the mounting living costs, Sontirat criticized the government for its lack of cooperation across offices. “The state is still unable to build trust in the people,” he noted.
“The ministries of energy, commerce, finance, and transport continue to walk in different directions,” he explained. “It is impossible to solve the problems if the relevant agencies do not collaborate.”
Meanwhile, the latest status of the oil fund, with which the Thai government helps subsidize oil prices, now shows a deficit of 100 billion baht, according to local media reports.
The government is also in talks with refinery companies in Thailand about giving away their excess profits to support the oil fund, in a bid to further cap retail fuel prices.
Officials from the energy ministry expect the conclusion to be reached by this week. The request for profit contributions from refineries is projected to provide the government around 7-9 billion baht every month for three months. – Thai Enquirer29 June 2022Breaking Newshttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186312
- Thailand to upgrade tracking foreigners
Thailand’s new Immigration Bureau boss wants a tighter ship when it comes to tracking foreign residents in the kingdom and tourists. It came after it took police five days to arrest an American man who is alleged to have raped a Thai woman in Khon Kaen with police eventually tracking...
Thailand’s new Immigration Bureau boss wants a tighter ship when it comes to tracking foreign residents in the kingdom and tourists.
It came after it took police five days to arrest an American man who is alleged to have raped a Thai woman in Khon Kaen with police eventually tracking the man down to a Bangkok address.
Police Lieutenant General Pakpoomphiphat Sajjapan has also revealed that under new entry vetting procedures, Thailand’s Immigration Police can now halt any passenger boarding a plane for Thailand if the person is deemed a threat to the security and well being of the country.
The new police boss wants to see an improvement in security databases and intelligence on foreigners living in Thailand going forward.
It follows the arrest of 37-year-old American Robert Andrew who has been charged with raping and seriously assaulting a 45-year-old masseuse worker at a massage parlour in Khon Kaen, a week previously.
Thailand’s new Immigration Bureau chief, Police Lieutenant General Pakpoomphiphat Sajjapan, is calling for an improved database to keep track of foreigners entering the kingdom.
The police chief explained that under current arrangements one of the first things police check is to see if the foreigner has a Thai wife or girlfriend in their efforts to track a suspect down or locate his current address.
The new Immigration Bureau boss has said that a new, improved database is required to keep track of foreign residents and tourists in Thailand so that they can more easily be located by police if they are suspected of being involved in criminal activity.
Police Lieutenant General Pakpoomphiphat took up the position from outgoing immigration police chief Police Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang in mid-September and is set to make this a key issue of his tenure going forward.
He has already given instructions that Immigration Bureau personnel are to be more fastidious with the collection of data as to the location and whereabouts of foreigners particularly when inputting information for the 90 days reporting system and the TM6 form which all incoming foreigners are still required to fill in on arrival in Thailand.29 June 2022Internationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186309
- Welcome to life in Thailand after the pandemic
After spending more than 29 months tackling COVID-19, Thailand is now busy preparing to launch its post-pandemic era. Here, Thai PBS World offers an overview of the latest developments in the country’s transition from pandemic to normality. Face masks On June 23, the mandatory wearing of face masks in public was scrapped....
After spending more than 29 months tackling COVID-19, Thailand is now busy preparing to launch its post-pandemic era.
Here, Thai PBS World offers an overview of the latest developments in the country’s transition from pandemic to normality.
On June 23, the mandatory wearing of face masks in public was scrapped. This means we no longer have to wear masks outdoors in uncrowded places like public parks – though most Thais are still wearing masks outdoors on a voluntary basis.
And health authorities recommend that people continue wearing masks indoors around people who are not from the same household. Removing masks indoors is only advisable if they are dining, exercising, performing or receiving beauty treatments, etc.
Authorities have also given public services and venues like shopping malls the freedom to issue their own rules. For instance, the BTS Skytrain operator requires commuters to wear masks at all times.
However, the Public Health Ministry has strongly advised people with underlying health conditions to wear a mask – especially if they are not fully vaccinated. Those who have been exposed to the virus are now only required to follow the ordinary protection protocol instead of having to quarantine.
Return of normality
With authorities signaling that the COVID-19 crisis is coming to an end, businesses have resumed their operations and public life is getting back to normal. Eateries are busy again and customers are even queuing up outside popular restaurants and shops. Mass-transit systems are crowded during rush hour and Bangkok’s traffic nightmare is back.
The work-from-home mode is fading as more workers are summoned back to the office.
And students across the country are back in class after spending several semesters studying online at home.
From July 1, nights out will also become longer for the party crowd. Pubs and bars will be allowed to serve alcohol until 2am for the first time since 2020 as more restrictions are eased and opening times return to normal.
Travel restrictions lifted
Also from July 1, foreign visitors will no longer need a Thailand Pass to enter the country. Thais have been exempted since the beginning of June.
The Thailand Pass system was launched last November as the country began slowly opening up to the world. To register, travelers needed proof of vaccination, a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, plus COVID insurance of at least US$10,000. Thai tourism operators had been urging the government to scrap the system for months as it was seen as a significant barrier for travel to Thailand.
The end of Thailand Pass on July 1 means foreign tourists will no longer face the expense of getting tested, purchasing COVID insurance, and uploading various documents online before traveling to the Kingdom.
Though no pre-registration and submission of documents is necessary, Thai authorities will still conduct random health and vaccination checks on arrivals from July 1. However, travelers will no longer have to undergo tests on arrival unless they are showing COVID symptoms. Airports will also scrap temperature screening of passengers.
Since mid-June, recorded daily infections in Thailand have fallen below 2,400. Meanwhile, the daily death toll has never risen higher than 21.
These figures suggest that we are entering the post-pandemic period, as Thais have learned to protect themselves with vaccination, face masks, hand washing, and social distancing. Most people in Thailand have received their first two COVID shots, while more than a third have had a booster jab.
Yet, just as Thailand looks set to finally beat the pandemic, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul tested positive for COVID-19 – despite having received no less than six shots of the vaccine.
By Thai PBS World’s General Desk29 June 2022Internationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186305
- Britain’s ‘fattest man’ who once weighed 55 stone dies
A morbidly obese man once thought to be the most overweight person in Britain has died of organ failure and sepsis at the age of 37. Matthew Crawford weighed 55 stone at his heaviest and hit the headlines in 2018 for taking up the space of four hospital beds and...
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A morbidly obese man once thought to be the most overweight person in Britain has died of organ failure and sepsis at the age of 37.
Matthew Crawford weighed 55 stone at his heaviest and hit the headlines in 2018 for taking up the space of four hospital beds and assaulting four nurses.
His reinforced bed at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, reportedly cost the NHS £7,000-a-week to rent for 18 months.
Several of Matthew’s friends paid tribute to him online, calling him a ‘great lad’ and referring to his nickname ‘Fatkid’.
‘Rest in peace Matthew Crawford aka Fatkid,’ one wrote. ‘At peace with your dad now mate.’
He was declared medically fit to leave for much of his extended hospital stay but could not be discharged due to a lack of home social care.
Matthew was accused of using his benefit payments to order pizzas and Chinese takeaways to his hospital bed, which he denied.
He also attracted criticism for posting a picture of himself clutching a bottle of champagne with his gown on.
An NHS source at the time said medics were ‘sick to the back teeth with the situation.’
‘There’s space for four people who need to be on the ward being taken up by one bloke who doesn’t,’ they told the Mirror.
‘He is taking up much-needed bed space that is supposed to be for ill patients. The situation is madness.’
The Lincoln City fan was finally discharged into a specially adapted care facility in 2019 and passed away last week.
Friends said he joined Slimming World to try and shed the pounds and he did previously respond to his critics, saying: ‘Just want to set the record straight, I don’t spend all my money on takeaways.
‘I might get £300 a fortnight but I spend over 100 quid every fortnight on food shopping. If people tasted the food in this place you would know why I buy my own food.’
The post Britain’s ‘fattest man’ who once weighed 55 stone dies appeared first on Pattaya One News.29 June 2022Internationalhttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186302
- Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison
Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in a US prison for helping former financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse young girls. Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of recruiting and trafficking four teenage girls for sexual abuse by Epstein, her then boyfriend. One of her accusers said outside the court...
Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in a US prison for helping former financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse young girls.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of recruiting and trafficking four teenage girls for sexual abuse by Epstein, her then boyfriend.
One of her accusers said outside the court in New York that she should stay in prison for the rest of her life.
Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019.
He had been awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s crimes took place over a decade, between 1994 and 2004.
Pronouncing the sentence, Judge Alison J Nathan said Maxwell’s conduct had been “heinous and predatory”.
“Ms Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable and played a pivotal role in facilitating sexual abuse,” she added.
She said the case called for a “very significant sentence” and that she wanted to send an “unmistakable message” that such crimes would be punished.
As well as jail time, the judge imposed a fine of $750,000 (£610,000).
Maxwell, whose lawyers had argued for a term of less than five years, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as the sentence was passed in front of a packed public gallery.
Earlier, she addressed her victims. She said she empathised with them, adding that she hoped her prison sentence would allow the victims “peace and finality”.
Maxwell has been in custody since her arrest in July 2020, held mostly at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center.
The case against the British former socialite has been one of the highest-profile since the emergence of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse.
Maxwell: Greatest regret was meeting Epstein
The most shocking moment came when Ghislaine Maxwell stood up to speak.
She addressed the victims directly – saying “I’m sorry for the pain you have experienced”.
She said she hoped they could now look forward and not back.
She called Epstein a manipulative, cunning man who fooled all in his orbit.
At the top of her statement, she said it was hard for her to address the pain and anguish. She said she wanted to acknowledge their suffering and that she empathised deeply with the victims. She said her association with Epstein was the greatest regret of her life.
“My association with Epstein will permanently stain me,” she said.
The judge, ahead of sentencing, said what was not expressed in Maxwell’s statement was an expression of her responsibility.
The victims were emotional as they spoke about the pain and anguish Maxwell caused them. They read their prepared statements – but Maxwell did not look at them as they spoke.
The judge allowed four women to speak at Tuesday’s hearing, as well as allowing a statement by Virginia Giuffre to be read by her lawyer in her absence.
Annie Farmer, the only victim on the indictment to give evidence under her full name during the trial, was the first to speak.
She had to pause midway through her speech in order to contain her emotions but continued to read her statement to the court in full.
Sarah Ransome, who did not testify at the trial but was due to give an impact statement, spoke outside court alongside fellow accuser Elizabeth Stein.
“Ghislaine must die in prison because I’ve been in Hell and back for the last seventeen years,” Ms Ransome said.
“I was 10 years old when Liz Stein was being trafficked. I was 10. That is how long this sex trafficking ring has been going on for. And it should have just taken one survivor to come forward for us to be taken seriously. It should not have been this hard.”
During the trial, Ms Farmer and three other women, identified in court only by their first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy, testified that they had been abused as minors at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.
They recounted how Maxwell had talked them into giving Epstein massages which turned sexual, luring them with gifts and promises about how Epstein could use his money and connections to help them.
Maxwell’s lawyers have tried to portray their client as a positive influence on other inmates in jail, offering to teach them yoga and help them learn English.
The crimes of Epstein, who mixed with some of the world’s most famous people, were first reported in the media in 2005 and he served prison time in Florida in 2008-09 on a state charge of procuring a minor for prostitution.
Following numerous lawsuits, he was arrested again in 2019 in a federal case in New York.
At least eight women wrote letters to the judge describing how they had suffered.
Victims speak of their pain
In her written victim impact statement, Ms Farmer said: “For a long time, I wanted to erase from my mind the crimes that Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein committed against me and pretend they hadn’t happened.
“I didn’t talk about it for years. It was the type of dark memory that feels safest to keep locked away, and so I did the best I could. The world did not cooperate with this strategy, however.
“Something would bring to mind this experience and my body would respond with an upset stomach and physical shakiness. I’d feel irritable, have trouble focusing, and feel disoriented…
“One of the most painful and ongoing impacts of Maxwell and Epstein’s abuse was a loss of trust in myself, my perceptions, and my instincts.”
Virginia Giuffre wrote: “Ghislaine, 22 years ago, in the summer of 2000, you spotted me at the Mar-a-Lago Hotel in Florida, and you made a choice. You chose to follow me and procure me for Jeffrey Epstein.
“Together, you damaged me physically, mentally, sexually, and emotionally….Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible paedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you. For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell”.
A woman referred to in court as “Kate” wrote in her statement: “The consequences of what Ghislaine Maxwell did have been far reaching for me.
“I have struggled with, and eventually triumphed over, substance use disorder. I have suffered panic attacks and night terrors, with which I still struggle. I have suffered low self esteem, loss of career opportunities. I have battled greatly with feeling unable to trust my own instincts in choosing romantic relationships.
“What happened to me at that young age changed the course of my life drastically forever.”
Another accuser, Juliette Bryant, wrote that she had never felt okay since the day Maxwell and Epstein “got their hands” on her.
“Thinking about them still gives me frequent panic attacks and night terrors,” she said. “All of the victims, including myself, are eternally grateful for everyone that has helped expose these criminals.”29 June 2022Crimehttps://pattayaone.news/?p=186299